Google Facing Anti-Trust Investigations Again; This Time in Korea for Lack of Search Options on Android


Uh-oh. Google’s looking at yet another anti-trust lawsuit. We’ve all been here before so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. There are concerns about their lack of search options in Android. As it stands, there is no easy way for a user to change which search engine they want to use whenever they hit that shiny search button on their phones.

Carriers and OEMs can customize this – we’ve seen Verizon do it with Bing and AT&T do it with Yahoo – but users (at least those not savvy enough to root their devices and customize their search button) can’t take any action. Daum – South Korea’s leading search provider – is the outlet who called for the investigation. Google refuted their claims, of course, what what I outlined above:

“Android is an open platform, and carrier partners are free to decide which applications and services to include on their Android phones,” the company said. “But we absolutely do not require carriers or manufacturers to include Google Search on Android-powered devices.”

I wouldn’t worry about this one too much, folks. Google’s tried and true in legal battles and I can’t imagine Daum’s complaints would put even a slight dent in Google’s strategy. [via ATD]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I agree with Daum. Users shouldn’t have to root their phone just to change the search. Users should also be able to get rid of the stuff that carriers preinstall.

    1. Neither of those things are controlled by Google. That’s what the carriers and manufacturers do.

      1. I don’t agree with suing btw. Never a big fan of lawsuits.

  2. What is stopping anyone from navigation to or from the browser? I could understand if google blocked said sites….but come on. It may not be easy, but its there. What about WP7….I hit the search button and takes me to bing. I never cared! I just searched Bing for Google and went from there…LOL.

  3. That’s manufacturer and/or carrier’s problem. Google doesn’t force them to use the default browser.

  4. This is absolutely crazy. They may as well go after Apple for having the iPhone locked in to iTunes.

    1. That was a perfect example kudos to you. Hey if you don’t like the Google Search on a Google phone then tell Daum to create an awesome platform and sell that.

    2. This whole thing is a sign of Microsoft going after google around the globe. Really if this were an antitrust issue apple and MS would be looked at front and center.

  5. This is so stupid. Everyone should sue apple then for not being able to use anything but safari. Or Microsoft for having Bing on their window phones. Its a Google phone people if u don’t like it dont buy one.

    1. Reminds me of the people who are panic stricken at the idea of Google having any of their personal info. Why buy Android then?

  6. this the second article you started with Uh-Oh

    1. Daum it!

  7. DAUM is a friggin’ content aggregator with their own search engine. What they SHOULD be doing is striking a deal with Android powered device manufacturers in Korea to load a DAUM app with a widget and make it available in the market for devices all the way back to 1.5. This is just another reasons why I hate Koreans. Well, just most of the ones I know personally. That includes my ex-wife and excludes my buddies from the Army and my buddy here in the company I work for, and of course, two of my kids. Well I guess I just hate my ex-wife, really, and I hate that SOME Koreans tend to pull stunts like this and fail to think through a solution.

    Why in the HELL did I buy a SAMSUNG Nexus S? :D

    Seriously, though, Google’s answer was good and DAUM really should be going after their own execs who actually went this far. DAUM has apps in the market and they shouldn’t expect the vanilla search widget from a GOOGLE phone to do anything BUT default to a GOOGLE search.

    1. no wonder why she left you…

    2. I liked the side bar, comical.. Just like this lawsuit.

  8. This is just senseless.

  9. Ridiculous. Then don’t use an OS made by Google, besides the fact that Motorola has put in Bing as the default search engine on some of their phones.

    Stupid people.

    1. Actually, its Verizon that made the deal with microsoft to include bing as the default search engine on all non-“Droid” android phones. The carriers get the final say as to what changes are needed in the software of a phone before its released to manufacturing which is why people get so excited to hear that phone “X” is in the hands of “testers.” Those testers belong to the carrier, any default settings checks lay in their hands.

  10. If they can put touchwhiz on samsungs phones i dont see why they cant include different default search engines integrated.

  11. Google is a SEARCH company. What the hell are people thinking when they filed the lawsuits?

    It’s like suing Sony for selling PS3 only. =.=

  12. Dow ming doy.

  13. This is a classic case of a new “god” In smart phones (just as apple was) once you’re the best you get all these gay little companies trying to drag you down because they fail.

    I love Google and I love Android and I don’t even use that search button unless I’m looking for an app in the market or music in powerAMP.

    DAUM please stfu with your shit little law suit because Google will crush you if provoked.

    1. Well, as its default search engine ok, but they still should implement an easy way to change it, like Microsoft was forced to offer Windows users an obvious way to install the browser of their choice as default.

      Moreover, the choice of the search engine is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ : this case is part of a whole complaint by Microsoft, who “[…] plans to join a number of companies in registering their concerns about the European search market.” (

      I’m a happy Android user, and Google’s my favorite search engine, but nevertheless, I’m not blind.

  14. @ari_free if you agree. You’re silly. A Google phone wouldn’t use a different search engine as its default. Just like Apple wouldn’t use Chrome or IE in place of safari or Microsoft use Chrome or safari as their default..

    It comes down to jealous companies that are failing.

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